I have spent the bank holiday weekend celebrating (and recovering from!) my third hen party! Last year I was invited to my first ever hen weekend, and the celebrations have been coming thick and fast since then! Each of the parties have been so different, but reflected each of the brides perfectly and all were absolutely brilliant, so I thought I’d share some of the festivities and themes for anyone looking for hen inspiration!
My first ever hen took place last summer. We all ventured into Derbyshire to stay at Dove Farm Cottages near Ashbourne. The venue was fab, with 3 connecting cottages, one large reception room for eating and partying, a gorgeous garden and a plethora of farm animals to play with!
On the first day we all ventured into Ashbourne – a lovely little village in Derbyshire – for a murder mystery treasure hunt, which was a great way to get to know the area and each other! We were split into teams for photo challenges and clues leading all over the village. This was followed by a crafty afternoon tea at the Sticky Fingers café, during which we all made and decorated little pots, and a commemorative plate for the bride. The evening and nighttime was filled with more party games, food, drink, stargazing and a nighttime stroll around the farm.
The next day we were up bright and early for raft building at Carsington Water – a gorgeous reservoir and water sports venue near Ashbourne. The bridesmaids kitted everyone out in full pirate gear for the occasion, and luckily no one sank! This was followed by a lovely picnic in the sunshine, and then we made our way back to the cottages for food, bubbly and girly movies.
The final day was spent screaming our socks off at nearby Alton Towers! This was an action-packed hen, with every minute of the day filled with activities., which made it really easy to get to know the other hens, and we really got to make the most of the glorious summer weather with all the outdoor fun!
2. Magical Hen
The second hen weekend I organised for my beautiful friend Clare! We shared a house with 5 other disney-obsessed girls at university, so when planning her hen weekend there was no question what the destination would be!
The prospect of organising a mass trip abroad can be a daunting one, however the planning and execution went so much smoother than I was expecting, and was also much cheaper than we thought it would be!
We started the weekend with a girly sleepover, during which we revealed the mystery location to the ecstatic bride! Then, the following morning, we all made our way to St Pancras to catch the Eurostar for Disneyland! The check-in process for the Eurostar is so much easier than at airports, and we were soon settled in our little private compartment (another Eurostar bonus – you can handpick your seats!) ready to start the celebrations!
We enjoyed a sunny lunch stopover in Lille, and reached our hotel in the early evening. The hotel had a lovely sauna and steam room, which was a great way to recover from the day’s travelling. We then got dressed up and enjoyed a fancy meal in the hotel restaurant before partying in our adjoining rooms into the early hours.
The next day we hopped onto the free shuttle bus and made our way to Disneyland! The weather was a little miserable to begin with, but soon brightened up! Armed with the compulsory Minnie Mouse ears, we spent the day gleefully running around Disneyland and Disney Studios.
In the evening we headed back to the hotel to glam up, and then headed back to the park for food and fireworks! All of the restaurants were pretty rammed earlier in the evening, so I’d recommend going to see the fireworks first and eating after, avoiding the queues!
The fireworks were a definite highlight, and then buzzing with Disney magic we headed to Planet Hollywood for what can only be described as a dinner-rave! The food was fab, the music was pumping, and we were soon ready to hit the dance floor!
There were a number of bars in Disney Village, and even a cracking nightclub! I had been concerned that we wouldn’t be able to find somewhere to go out as Disneyland is in the middle of nowhere, but the park itself more than delivered!
On our way back to London we stopped off in Paris to see the sights, and were soon back in England recovering from all the excitement!
Although it may seem like a lot of organisation and expense, hen weekends overseas are definitely achievable, and we were all pleasantly surprised with how cheap it worked out, and how smoothly everything went! We had an unforgettable weekend, and the bride was thrilled!
3. The Classic Hen
My most recent hen weekend was a classic deely-boppers and sashes hen extravaganza organised by my best friend Kelly!
We all met in Milton Keynes, and once checked into the hotel we got straight on the bubbly and got glammed up for the night! Deely-boppers, sashes, photobooth props and selfie sticks were the order of the day, and we were soon ready to hit the dance floor!
The party was held at Bistro Live, which I’ve never been to before, but it was absolutely brilliant! We enjoyed a three course meal while a live band played some cracking tunes, and once the food was cleared everyone started to dance on the chairs and the tables and really let their hair down!
The following day we nursed our sore heads at the nearby Bannatyne spa. A hot tub, massage and facial definitely kept the hangover at bay, and we all left feeling wonderfully refreshed!
I had a fantastic time at all of these hen weekends, and love how each is so different to reflect the personalities of all the brides!
What would your perfect hen weekend be? I’m dreaming of Vegas..!
Katie Scarlett xx